L'été dernier, nous apprenions avec grand intérêt qu'Helsinki avait tout un plan pour "se débarrasser définitivement de la voiture", ou du moins "d'éliminer la possession automobile". La réalité est plus nuancée : Helsinki ambitionne (et c'est déjà beaucoup) de construire un système de "mobilité à la demande" qui, en théorie , devrait éliminer le besoin de posséder une voiture d'ici à 2025. Comment ? En suscitant la formation "d'intégrateurs de mobilité" ( mobility operators ) capables de proposer, pour l'ensemble de l'offre de mobilité existante, des informations en temps réel et des moyens de réservation et de paiement (bus, train, autopartage, covoiturage, vélo, etc..). Ces intégrateurs de mobilité, qui pourraient être des opérateurs télécom, des acteurs du paiement mobile ou encore des assureurs, centraliseraient les informations des "producteurs" de services ( mobility/transport service producers ) et proposeraient différents "niveaux de services" aux usagers pour effectuer des trajets porte-à-porte.
Cet objectif a d'abord été formulé dans une thèse soutenue par la Ville d'Helsinki, Mobility as a Service - A Proposal for Action for the Public Administration , publiée au printemps 2014 par Sonja Heikkilä. Nous l'avons rencontrée afin d'en savoir plus sur le projet "Mobility as a Service" (MaaS) développée aujourd'hui sein de TEKES , l'agence publique pour l'innovation. TEKES soutien financièrement les entreprises finlandaises innovantes et les aide à développer et commercialiser leurs produits ou services, tout en leur offrant des espaces de rencontre et de conseil.
Sonja Heikkilä est Senior Adviser au sein de Tekes, l'Agence finlandaise de financement pour l'innovation, en charge des projets Smart Living, Mobility as a Service . Vous pouvez la suivre sur twitter ici .
How did the project begin, and what is the general context of mobilities in Helsinki?
The project begun in several forms. One of them was a working group founded by the Finnish Ministry of Transport and Communications. A group of representatives of several companies and public entities were assigned to outline the future transportation. The idea of providing mobility as a service came up during the process. Also the City of Helsinki was involved in the discussions and got interested about Mobility as a Service, as it seemed like a promising solution for the city's needs. They wanted to know more about the possibilities of the concept and thus commissioned my Master's Thesis. The master's thesis described the concept of Mobility as a Service and created a proposal for action for implementing it.
The City of Helsinki is different from the Greater Helsinki region. The latter includes 14 municipalities. Helsinki is home to approximately 564.000 inhabitants, the Greater Helsinki Region comprises 1,4 million inhabitants. The citizens in Helsinki use private cars for 29 % of their trips and public transit for 34 %. In the Greater Helsinki Region, private cars account for 41 % of all trips, public transit for 24 %, bicycle for 8 % and walking for 25 %. Many still need to rely on private car in less dense areas.
What is the timeline for the project and what do you expect from private companies?
I work for Tekes, the Finnish Funding Agency for Innovation, and we have opened a call for propositions, made of two successive rounds.
The first round was closed in February and asked for pre-studies for the emerging mobility operator activity. We received 13 applications. Some of them were new mobility operators that will begin to integrate transport services. The rest were other parts of the new ecosystem, for example, some new or existing transport services. Some have the role of an enabler, for example, transport service producers who already begin to open their interfaces and prepare their service to be able to join the integrated service provision of mobility operators.
The second call will close later in the Spring. For the second call, Tekes asks companies to apply funding for piloting Mobility as a Service in real transportation environment. Mobility as a Service means that people would use all transport services through so-called mobility operators, which work in a similar way as telecommunication operators. By for example a fixed monthly fee, users could use any transport services, ranging from public transit to car using services, such as car sharing, rental cars or ride sharing. Mobility as a Service will be a totally new business and mobility operators need to be first established. Mobility operators need know-how from several fields so they could form of, for example, telecommunication operators, mobile payment companies, transport service producers or insurers...that would aggregate and integrate different mobility/transport services. Consortiums should propose pilots for door-to-door mobility services, where users can see, book, pay and follow the realization of the travel chain though a mobile interface offered by the mobility operators.
The comprehensive service, offered to users by mobility operators, should include all personal transportation, including public transportation, ridesharing, city bike services, but also logistics. To eliminate the need for a personal/private car, we also have to take into account the "personal logistics" needs, which are for example going to the grocery store and carrying heavy gear to football practice.
The consortiums that will be funded by Tekes will test their solutions in pilots at the end of the year or early next year. The emerging mobility operator business has to be scalable and interoperable between cities and countries, aiming at the global market. This means that they/the system needs to work in several cities so that if I visit Paris, for example, I am able to use and buy all local transportation both in Paris and in Helsinki, as well as the flight in between, seamlessly through my mobility operator.
Mobility as a Service is so diverse and adaptable that it can really be a solution for different kinds of cities. It can be a solution for cities with congestion problems but also to rural areas where traffic is very little. I guess the first pilots are at least in Helsinki, where it is most dense in Finland, but also somewhere else in Finland with a slightly different approach and solution.
So what are the obstacles to overcome before car ownership becomes obsolete in Helsinki?
We need all transport service producers to open their data to the timetables and real time location information of vehicles. As importantly, mobility operators need to have access to the payment systems of services so that they can combine the payment of transportation as a seamless full service. In order to do so, transport service producers, such as public transit provider, carsharing companies, taxis and city bike services need to open their interfaces to the payment systems of their services. This is something quite new and radical, so it is understandable that some stakeholders are not yet comfortable with the idea. Nevertheless, as soon as they understand that Mobility as a Service significantly increases their user numbers and modal share and thus revenue, I think this will not be an issue.
We will eliminate the need to own car, but people are not forced to use the new system but they can continue owning their cars if they wish to do so. The aim of Mobility as a Service is to offer users a better service than car ownership.
A mobility operator is a consortium that may be formed of telecommunication operators, mobile payment companies, transport service producers or insurers...that would aggregate and integrate different mobility/transport services. Consortiums should propose pilots for door-to-door mobility services, where users can see, book, pay and follow the realization of the travel chain though a mobile interface offered by the mobility operators.
A mobility/transport service producer is a public or private body providing a mobility or transport service (a public transportation operator, a ridesharing company, a real-time information provider ...)